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Who are Seventh-day Adventists? Rediscovering Our Adventist Identity p. 4 Adventist Health Ministries p. 5



SEARCHING FOR ADVENTIST IDENTITY During 2016 we want to explore the topic of Adventist identity—what does it mean to be an Adventist? What defines us as a group? Our activities? Our history? Our 28 Fundamental Beliefs? Our behaviors? Our goals? How many kinds of Adventists are there? Is there a “right” way of being Adventist? Should our identity as Adventists grow? If so, how? BRENDA DICKERSON editor

How do Adventists fit in with other denominations? What do we want to be known for? How do we shape the perceptions of others regarding who Adventists are? Why is identity even important? How can it guide our future as a church? OUTLOOK blogger Ed Dickerson (my husband’s cousin) will lead us on this journey through his monthly editorial series. And while we may not be able to answer each question fully, we hope the process of examining them will stimulate thought and conversation…and ultimately prove beneficial to our church as a movement.

NEW FOR 2016: Conference News Highlights To accommodate reader preferences, we’re shifting to a focus on feature stories while still keeping you up to date with news headlines. For news anytime, go to

ONLINE SECOND-CLASS CITIZENS Is your church family excluding someone?

ON THE COVER Since the Seventh-day Adventist Church was established in 1863 we have seen significant change and growth as a denomination. Today, as a world church with over 18 million members around the globe, it’s no surprise that we’re struggling with our identity. More on p. 4.




OUTLOOK (ISSN 0887-977X) January 2016, Volume 37, Number 1. OUTLOOK is published monthly (10 months per year) by the Mid-America Union Conference of Seventh-day Adventists, 8307 Pine Lake Road, Lincoln, NE 68516. Printed at Pacific Press Publishing Association, Periodical postage paid at Lincoln, NE and additional offices. USPS number 006-245. Free for Mid-America church members and $10 per year for subscribers. ©2016 Mid-America Union Conference of Seventh-day Adventists. Unless otherwise credited, all images are iStock. Adventist® and Seventh-day Adventist® are registered trademarks of the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists. Contact us by email: or phone: 402.484.3000.





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FEATURES “If I were 25 years old today, why would I choose to be a Seventh-day Adventist?” p. 4



NEWS 10 Central States 12 Dakota 14 Iowa-Missouri 16 Kansas-Nebraska 18 Minnesota 20 Rocky Mountain 22 Union College 24 Adventist Health 27 Mid-America 28 Farewell 29 InfoMarket

President Gary Thurber VP for Administration Gil F. Webb VP for Finance Troy Peoples Communication Brenda Dickerson Education John Kriegelstein Ministerial Mic Thurber Youth/Church Ministries Hubert Cisneros OUTLOOK STAFF Editor: Brenda Dickerson Advertising/Web: Randy Harmdierks Art Director: Raschelle Hines CENTRAL STATES News Editor: Brittany Winkfield communications@ 913.371.1071 DAKOTA News Editor: Jacquie Biloff 701.751.6177 IOWA-MISSOURI News Editor: Michelle Hansen 515.223.1197 KANSAS-NEBRASKA News Editor: John Treolo 785.478.4726 MINNESOTA News Editor: Brian Mungandi 763.424.8923 ROCKY MOUNTAIN News Editor: Rajmund Dabrowski 303.733.3771 UNION COLLEGE News Editor: Ryan Teller 402.468.2538


REDISCOVERING OUR What’s Missing? W ED DICKERSON is a lay pastor, church planter, writer and speaker. He enjoys photography, golf, music, watching football and exegetical Bible study. His passion is to do everything in his power to see that, if the Lord tarries, there will be an Adventist church that his children and grandchildren want to belong to. Ed has been blogging for OUTLOOK since 2009.


hat does it mean to be a Seventh-day Adventist? My friend George Knight took this up in a book titled A Search for Identity. In that book, George proposes that the first 40 years or so of our history were spent finding out what was Adventist about Adventism, and the next several decades attempting to figure out what was Christian about Adventism, followed by a quest to understand what was fundamentalist about Adventism. In the last two chapters of the book, he essentially concludes that all three of those questions remain open simultaneously in various sectors of Adventism. And that, I have discovered, is the problem that many of our dissatisfied members (and ex-members) have identified. As a people, as a movement, we do not have a coherent single identity to offer. Not only are the multiple threads of identity still competing for primacy within the church, but even more crucially we can observe the fact that each of these threads is more certain about what they are not than what they are. This has led to increasing polarization within the church. On one hand we have people who are not, absolutely not,


going to abandon what they understand as biblical truths. They are not going to be blown about by every wind of doctrine, every fad of worship style, or intellectual fads. They do not believe in evolution, and do not believe in music written after 1920—you get the picture. “Faithfulness” is their watchword. On the other hand, we have people who are not judgmental, not legalistic, and not exclusivist. They do not believe in a six-literal-day creation (whenever it might have occurred in the past) and they will not be deluded by charming folk tales written centuries ago by people who did not have flush toilets. “Compassion” is their watchword. I could go on, but I think people who are paying attention recognize the two polarities. You can even name publications and websites on each side of the great divide. Uncertain trumpets Paul tells us when the trumpets give an uncertain sound, people don’t know whether to prepare for battle. Within the heart of this denomination we have multiple trumpets sounding conflicting

calls. So instead of serving as an anchor point for those who are already casting about to discover their true identity and purpose, the church is adrift, and only offers more confusion. Our young adults are naturally in the process of individuation—of discovering who they are. But we have little to offer them in terms of the religious part of their identity. No wonder many are leaving. If I were 25 years old today, why would I choose to be a Seventh-day Adventist? The short answer for me is because I believe this is where the action is. I still believe it is God’s purpose to pursue His primary agenda through the agency of this movement. Note that I called it a “movement,” not a church or denomination. Individual congregations and even large institutions sometimes abandon their original purpose and look only to their own survival. But I do believe that the movement which gave birth to the Seventh-day Adventist Church is one which still has unfinished business, God’s business, and we need to be about it. Read this post in its entirety at outlookmag. org/uncertain-trumpets


ADVENTIST IDENTITY Sharing the Power and Joy of Adventist Health Ministries A

few months ago Alex Bryant, our North American Division secretary, was a guest on the Glenn Beck Nationwide radio program. He was invited on the show because Dr. Ben Carson had been a guest, and Glenn Beck perceived that Carson was a deeply spiritual man and wanted to know about his church. It was interesting to hear the host and his sidekicks discussing the Seventh-day Adventist Church before Alex came on the air. They had heard of it, but really knew very little about it. One of Beck’s cohosts said he thought Adventists were vegetarians. Beck wanted to question Alex about whether or not the church believed we were in the “last days.” Alex did very well representing our church. He boldly spoke of our church’s belief that we indeed are living in the final days of this broken world. He went on to talk about our humanitarian efforts in North America and around the world, as well as our educational work. One of the highlights was when he talked about our health message. Alex confirmed that we promote

both a vegetarian and vegan diet to care for our bodies. He went on to discuss our health outreach, including the Best Pathways To Health event that took place in San Antonio last summer. This amazing event, sponsored by Adventist-laymen’s Services and Industries, provided over 6,000 people with free dental, vision, and a variety of other health services over a threeday period.

arm of the gospel” has been part of who we are from the beginning of our church’s history. Now, more than ever, people everywhere need to hear and experience the joy that comes from our health message. This issue of OUTLOOK is devoted to reporting on what is happening and inspiring you to think about what more could be happening in our territory for health ministries. While the North Bringing it home American Division’s goal Here in Mid-America, much of each Adventist church is happening in the area of becoming “a center for health, health ministries. We are host- healing and wholeness in the ing CHIP programs, vegetarian community” sets a high bar, cooking schools, and diabetes their Department of Health health education and wellness Ministries serves as a resource programs, just to name a few. center for information and In addition, we are blessed counsel on developing health to have a strong presence of the and temperance programs (bit. Adventist Health System with ly/newhealthminleader). hospitals in Shawnee, Kansas Thank you to all who have and Denver, Parker, Castle provided leadership to this Rock, Littleton and Louisville, important ministry. Let’s all Colorado. They are extremely work together to make an interested in the health of their impact in our communities for communities and through the Christ. CREATION Health program are making a positive impact in people’s lives. How is your church using our health message to serve your community? This “right

GARY THURBER is president of the Mid-America Union.




REDISCOVERING OUR Health Ministry: The Gospel of Christ Illustrated A

1. trashed-study-finds-studentstoss-veggies-mandated-by-federal-school-lunch 2. 3. The Wall Street Journal, Thursday, November 12, 2015, p. B8 4. “Prevalence of Childhood and Adult Obesity in the United States 2011-2012,” Journal of the American Medical Association 2014; 311(8):806-814 5. “Companies Chip Away at Health Benefits,” USA Today, Thursday, November 12, 2015, Money, p. 3B


s Christians, we know the Lord desires us to enjoy a cheerful, whole-person health experience. Yet in today’s world that is an increasing challenge, despite the many health initiatives in our society. Health programs come through a variety of packages— from government agencies to non-profits to church led ministries. Some are fighting to make disease prevention a national priority. For school lunches subsidized by the federal government, the U.S. Department of Agriculture now requires that children select either a fruit or vegetable. However, as nationally publicized and locally noted by North Dakota public school teachers, children are taking the fruit and vegetables and throwing them into the garbage untouched.1 The goal of some organizations to “move people from apathy to alarm and from alarm into action”2 does not seem to be working either. According to The Wall Street Journal, 60 percent of American consumers are “obese or overweight, but only about a third are actively trying to stop getting heavier.”3 The Center for Disease Control reports that obesity has more than doubled in children and quadrupled in adolescents in the past 30 years.4 Also of concern is the rising cost of healthcare. A recent article in USA Today states,


“The average amount workers have to contribute toward their healthcare is up more than 134 percent over the past decade, and that trend will accelerate.” Mike Morrow, senior vice president of Aon’s health practice said, “We need to do what we can to drive the right behavior so employees are making good decisions when costs increase as they inevitably will.”5 History and goals of Adventist Health Ministries As the world faces a health and economic crisis, the Adventist Church has much to offer suffering humanity. The healthful self-restraint of temperance was on the docket even before the Adventist Church was officially organized in the 1860s. As early as 1827 Joseph Bates was promoting temperance and by 1866 the church was publishing the Health Reformer. Adventists have a rich heritage of healthful information to share. But is the goal of our health ministries to “move people from apathy to alarm into action”? Is the purpose “to do what we can to drive the right behavior” or mandate what children eat? Is our goal to help lower healthcare costs? The current mission statement of Adventist Health Ministries reads in part, “Health Ministry is the gospel of Christ

illustrated, the message of God practiced.” Of the many current health ministries—whether it is Weimar’s NEWSTART program, CHIP (Complete Health Improvement Program), the eight professional schools of Loma Linda University, Andrews University’s Health and Wellness Initiative, Adventists InStep for Life, or Florida Hospital’s CREATION Health program—we have the blueprint of Christ to follow. Christ’s love may move them to action, it may change their behavior, and yes, it may lower their out-of-pocket healthcare costs. Yet those are but residual benefits of choosing healthy living by getting adequate rest and exercise, and maintaining a healthy environment with a positive outlook on life. We have been blessed with historically healthful practices. Has our neglect to share them contributed to America’s current health crisis and multitude of government “health” agencies? As Seventh-day Adventists we are equipped to share abundant life to the fullest in Christ. The crisis is here. The need is urgent. The time to act is now. Jacquie Biloff is communication director for the Dakota Conference.


• affordable, lifestyle enrichment program designed to reduce disease risk factors

• make schools healthier places through nutrition and physical activity

• lower blood cholesterol, hypertension, and blood sugar levels

• teach children about the importance of a healthy lifestyle

• reduce excess weight by improving dietary choices and enhancing daily exercise

• partner with the community to make our neighborhoods healthier • create safe places for physical activity • provide access to affordable, healthy food • faith-based wellness plan with lifestyle seminars • training program for those who want to teach • “go-to” resource for ongoing support • health recovery program designed to prevent and reverse disease through natural methods

• based on biblical principles ®

• supported by evidencebased science

• physician monitored, scientifically researched • based on eight fundamental lifestyle principles

• more than 35 years experience

• simple lifestyle patterns

• thoroughly equipped facility and caring staff

• “ministry of healing” to restore wholeness • effectiveness of proven therapy where disease has already occurred





Honoring the Crown in KC Photos: Rex Purefoy


or the first time in 30 years, the Kansas City community experienced a heroic baseball season as the Kansas City Royals came from behind to win the fifth game against the New York Mets and bring home the World Series trophy. Similar to the boys in blue, Dwayne Williams and Ken Bacon are hitting home runs in their respective businesses by impacting thousands of vulnerable people in Kansas City. Both men attended Union College in Lincoln, Nebraska, and are now using their careers to serve and demonstrate the love of Christ on a daily basis. Dwayne Williams currently serves as the president/CEO of Twelfth Street Heritage Development Corporation, which has rehabilitated nearly 150 homes in the most distressed


areas of Kansas City, Missouri. Twelfth Street Heritage’s mission is to improve the quality of life for residents of Kansas City’s most challenged urban neighborhoods. Established in 1984, TSHDC has been a catalyst for remarkable and measurable community progress. Dwayne also serves the Kansas City community by dedicating his time on multiple boards and committees. His motto in life is, When much is given, much is required. Ken Bacon is the president/ CEO of Shawnee Mission Health and regional CEO of the MidAmerica Region of Adventist Health System. Prior to joining SMH in April 2012, Ken served as CEO of Littleton Adventist Hospital in Colorado. During his 20 plus years with AHS, Ken has developed a record of growing clinical areas such as


neuroscience, cardiology, oncology and trauma, while placing a priority on building physician and community relationships. He currently chairs the Kansas City Area Hospital Council and serves on a number of other boards and committees.

Dwayne Williams (left), president/CEO of Twelfth Street Heritage Development Corporation, and Ken Bacon, president/CEO of Shawnee Mission Health, collaborate to bring joy to children in need through the 21st annual Santa’s Wonderland, an event that provides clothing and toys for thousands of economically challenged families in the Kansas City area.

was such a rewarding experience to be part of Santa’s Wonderland and support a cause that provides much joy to children in need.” Dwayne agrees that it’s “a wonderful feeling to wake up and use the vocational vehicle that God has blessed me with to impact the lives of others. It’s moments A team of champions like these that ignite me to wake Last November Dwayne and up and come to work every day.” Ken collaborated on the 21st Throughout Kansas City, annual Santa’s Wonderland Ken and Dwayne are displaythat provides clothing and toys ing the same level of intensity for thousands of economically demonstrated by the Kansas challenged families. Ken and his City Royals as they champion wife, DeAnna, served as the 2015 the love of Christ and honor chairs of Santa’s Wonderland, the commandment “love they an event sponsored by Twelfth neighbor as thyself.” Street Heritage. Thalia Cherry writes for Twelfth “As part of our mission to Street Heritage Development extend the healing ministry of Corporation. Christ, it was a natural fit to support an organization with a similar purpose,” says Ken. “It


“It’s moments like these that ignite me to wake up and come to work every day.”





Calling All Youth: Your Voice Matters! T

ell us how you feel about important topics such as improving racial relations, responding to bullying, forgiving people who hurt you, being abstinent in a sex-crazy world, using social media to tell the world about God, and more. Express yourself through jingles, group jingles, poems, orations, multimedia, posters, cartoons and short stories. Participate in your Church and Federation Temperance Programs for a chance to represent Central States Conference at the BAYDA United Youth Congress Temperance Program in April (oration and multimedia winners only). 2016 Temperance Dates: February 6 Local Church March 12 Federation March 26 Conference Run-offs for Oration and Multimedia April 13-17 BAYDA United Youth Congress, Virgina Beach, VA

Visit the Central States Conference website at and click on the Youth & Young Adult page to access the Temperance Guidelines.






Palace of Peace Mortgage Burning Celebration Elder Robert L. Lister.

On June 23, 1996, a groundbreaking ceremony was held for Palace of Peace. Under the pastoral direction of Pastor Willie Wilson the church’s foundation was poured and the framing began. During this time Elder Pettway was a valuable asset as the church’s next contractor. Pastor Bryan Mann continued the pastoral leadership to bring the church to its first worship service on June 6, 1998. The south wing was finished under Pastor Mann. The north wing, community service room, kitchen Photos: Courtesy Central States Conference and fellowship hall were finished under Pastor Michael B. Kelly, fter 38 years of existence and III in 2005. The Palace of Peace 19 years in it’s current loca- members obtained full occution, the Palace of Peace Church pancy in 2007. Pastor Melvyn W. was able to liquidate its debt to Garfield Jr. led the church from save on interest and ultimately 2007 to 2009 followed by Pastor transfer funds to missionary out- Philip P. Baptiste. reach. By paying off the mortgage Charter members, Elder three years ahead of schedule, James and Minne Rowe, have the church can better share the been at Palace of Peace since its gospel and tell the good news of inception in 1977. As pioneers of salvation, explains interim pastor the Palace of Peace Church, the


Rowes hasten to say that the seed was planted by Palace’s mother church, Claremont Church in Pueblo, Colorado—supporting a tent effort at Institute and Fountain Boulevard, conducted by evangelist Elder Gil Webb. The beauty in this event was the bond of the two churches, says Pastor Livingston Pogson of Claremont. What inspired the members after the mortgage burning ceremony was the one piece of paper that did not burn on its own that read “Paid In Full.” This is what Jesus has done for us! While the conference is searching for a new pastor, Elder Lister, a minister of 47 quality years of experience in pastoral and administrative skills including financial planning, has led us to the retirement of our mortgage. We give all praise to God for this milestone. Brittany Winkfield is communication director for the Central States Conference.

Update: Tithe Remittance Increases In October Central States Conference officers successfully completed Town Hall meetings in all five Federation Territories. Information was shared regarding our Year of Evangelism as well as financial difficulties the Central States Conference is experiencing. Since then, God has blessed the conference through the faithfulness of its members with the highest tithe remittance since March 2013. That’s something to praise God about! We thank you for your continued faithfulness and prayers. Pictured: State of the Conference Report given by Elder Maurice Valentine, Elder Roger Bernard and Elder Tonya Anderson at Town Hall meetings in October. OUTLOOKMAG.ORG




Collaboration and Training: Keys to Disaster Relief Warehousing is Adventist niche Dakotans are committed to preparing for disasters. Those attending the ACS DR class last fall were (back row, l-r) Christian Ronalds; Christian Harris, Sr; Terry Pflugrad; Marie Pflugrad; Charlene Schrock; (center row) Terri Krovoza; Diana Scarr and Gerry Forbes. Six were new to the program and two were reviewing. Instructors Phyllis Alexander and Bob Forbes are seated.

Courtesy Dakota Conference


n 1970, after Hurricane Andrew, seven different relief organizations came together to form VOAD (Voluntary Organizations Active in Disasters). The Seventh-day Adventist Church was a charter member and our representatives still sit on the board. The organizations consist of Adventist Disaster Response, American Red Cross, Catholic Services, Christian Referral World Relief Committee, Mennonites Disaster Services, Society of Saint Vincent De Paul, and the Southern Baptist Convention.



Each organization has its part to play in a disaster. Adventists are in charge of warehousing and so are seldom mentioned in the media because we play a behind-the-scenes roll. However, rest assured, Seventhday Adventists are working to relieve pain and suffering in every major disaster. Adventists stock the supplies for the Salvation Army, American Red Cross, etc. to distribute. Because there are fewer disasters in the northern plains than in the south, Adventist Disaster Response has several semis located in Texas that


are stocked and ready for the next disaster. “We can furnish 500 families of five individuals with clothing from one of the 18-wheelers,” says Phyllis Alexander, Dakota Conference director of ACS DR. “The Southern Baptist Convention is responsible for cooking supplies, food and chairs. They can feed 250,000 people two meals a day out of their system.” NECHMA, of Jewish affiliation, helps by directly supporting volunteers to assist disaster survivors with cleanup and recovery. They were on scene during the Fargo flood mucking

out houses. Methodists and Lutherans manage the call-in system during a disaster. Adventists active in the Dakotas Alice Pearson was the only Adventist disaster relief person trained to help during the 1997 Red River flood. Dennis Shafter walked in, not knowing what to do, but willing to help. Pastor Bob Forbes also volunteered and helped to operate a Distribution Center in a public school in East Grand Forks. They used four large airport hangars at the Grand Forks


International Airport as warehouses, serving the needs of 30,000 people for six weeks with the center in East Grand Forks and a smaller unit at the airport. Pearson oversaw the warehouse operations from Pierre, South Dakota. It was then that the Dakota Conference realized the need to form a disaster plan for the conference. During the Bismarck, North Dakota flood in 2011, Columbia, a well-known outdoor clothing conglomerate, provided $183,000 worth of new clothing for men, women and children to an Adventistrun warehouse in Bismarck. The Latter-day Saints Church delivered 64 pallets of cleaning buckets. Pastor Loren Nelson, Dakota Conference youth director, organized young people from the conference to do mobile distribution into the community and sandbagging, which helped save four houses. Forbes and his wife, Gerry, managed a warehouse in Delmont, South Dakota in May 2015 after an E-F2 tornado destroyed homes and property. He and his team inventoried more than $52,000 worth of donations. In 2014 he worked with Adventist Disaster Response after a tornado devastated Wessington Springs, South Dakota. Last October Alexander attended a Tri-State Disaster Response Summit in Fargo, North Dakota. The American

Red Cross received a grant to sponsor the summit, so there was no charge to attend and the Red Cross also helped with hotel, travel and meal expenses. Emergency Management, First Responders and VOAD members were there learning how to be more productive by not duplicating efforts, effect better organization and communication, and generally work together in an emergency situation. In November Forbes and Alexander taught an Adventist Community Service Disaster Relief class to those renewing or interested in being disaster certified. “Adventist Disaster Response does nothing without being asked. That inquiry usually comes from Homeland Security through VOAD, who then request us,” says Alexander. “They have the ACS DR Memorandum of Understanding, which is reviewed every five years.” Coordination and training are disaster prerequisites, adds Alexander. “Become acquainted with Red Cross leaders, the Salvation Army, Emergency Management managers, and the police and fire departments. We cannot do it alone, but we can continue to do it as a team.” Jacquie Biloff is communication director for the Dakota Conference.

James Bokovoy Photography

Native Ministries Coordinator Active in the Dakotas

Deb Claymore-Cuny (right)


ative Ministry coordinator Deb Claymore-Cuny recently attended the North American Division Native Ministries meeting in San Diego, California. This gathering is held in conjunction with the National Congress of American Indians annual meeting. NCAI is the most powerful and influential organization serving Native people and also the oldest, at 75 years running. Tribes from across the nation are represented and are part of the policy and decision-making

process not only for tribes as a group, but also for the federal government. The president of NCAI, Brian Cladoosby, is in Washington, DC almost weekly, meeting with senators and many times President Obama. It is noteworthy that President Cladoosby is a Seventh-day Adventist. He was recently re-elected for a second two-year term. The new American Indian Living magazine includes a page with NCAI information. Currently, the Seventh-day Adventist Church is the only church involved with NCAI. Debra Claymore-Cuny is Native Ministry coordinator for the Dakota Conference.

Read more online

NEWS HIGHLIGHTS The Dakota Conference plans to launch a new website at the pastors’ meetings January 10-13. During the meetings pastors’ wives will have an opportunity to attend a private art class session at Theo Art School in Bismarck, North Dakota. South Dakota regionals are held in the fall (Central, Southeast and Black Hills). North Dakota regionals begin in the spring. Dakota Conference Men’s Retreat is happening March 11-13. Dr. Thomas Shepherd will be the guest presenter.





Missouri State Representative Visits Adventist School David Webb

Collaboration Brings Family Back into Their Home Monica McFee

A team of volunteers from St. Louis repainted the interior of a needy family’s home, making it possible for the rest of the home to be repaired.


ast October, 17 volunteers from Adventist churches across the St. Louis metro joined together to add some finishing touches to a Disaster Response Long Term Recovery project in Florissant, Missouri. In 2011 a tornado caused severe damage to many homes in the city of Florissant. One of the families who survived the tornado was unable to secure the needed repairs to their roof, resulting in further damage to their home over the past few years. Eventually, the family had to vacate. That’s when the St. Louis Community Organizations Active in Disaster stepped in and started to assist the family in the process of recovering their home. Many community agencies and organizations partnered with the city of Florissant to help coordinate the recovery project that would bring much-needed assistance to the family. A new roof was put on, the interior was gutted and mold eradicated, new sheet rock was installed,



and a new HVAC system was purchased. When I was asked by COAD to assist in getting this project finished, I reached out to Danise Taylor, chair of the St. Louis Seventh-day Adventist Lay Missions Group, for assistance. The Lay Missions Group is a collaborative group comprised of members from local St. Louis area churches in both the Iowa-Missouri and Central States Conferences. Working together, this team of volunteers repainted the interior of the house, making it possible for the rest of the home to be prepared for the family’s return by the first week of November. Monica McFee, the family’s case worker from United Way of St. Louis who worked alongside the Lay Missions Group volunteers the entire day, shared the family’s gratitude and thanks for the work that was done. Pastor Jody Dickhaut is the Missouri ACS DR state director.


Students from the Golden Valley Adventist School and their teacher, Connie Sunderland (far right), visit with Missouri State Representative Wanda Brown.


ast fall Missouri Representative Wanda Brown visited the Golden Valley Adventist School at the invitation of head teacher Connie Sunderland. Brown’s district covers Henry County, where the school is located in the city of Clinton. The students asked Rep. Brown questions about her job, how she got it, what she does on a daily basis, and how large her district is. They also got to learn a little about her as a person by finding out what her favorite foods, color and hobbies are. When asked what the students could do to help her, Rep. Brown said, “Pray for your leaders to make right decisions and get involved with your representatives.”

Rep. Brown gave the students handouts of state symbols, state officials, an example of a joint resolution, election procedures and qualifications of representatives, plus a map of the Lewis and Clark expedition. She will also be sending the school a flag that has flown over the state capital. The students shared the first four of the Ten Commandments from memory with Rep. Brown. After her visit students were given a writing assignment to thank Rep. Brown with a handwritten, cursive note. The class continued their lesson on government by visiting the state capital in Jefferson City. David Webb is a member of the Golden Valley Church.


Fellowship at the Little Spring Courtesy Becky Knobloch

Paula Bettcher (left) and Becki Knobloch enjoy connecting with Jared on his journey for spiritual truth.


many of the traditions of men do

too many layers of administration? Oh, no—that’s us!

Jared invited his father, mother, sister and brother-in-law to attend our Outdoor Church service and they all came. We sat together and after the service I introduced them to a number of people from the West Plains Church. After multiple invitations to visit there, Jared agreed that he would come. I am hoping we can go with him because we love that church too. Though it made me sad that so far our Adventist churches have not succeeded in winning his interest, we are still hoping to share in his spiritual journey.

Becki Knobloch is a member of tomorrow and there will be many we have in our churches...Ouch! the Willow Springs Church. people here for the service and That hits too close to home. And picnic lunch.” Without missing a church organization, hierarchy, and beat Jared enthused, “Then I will join you for that!” We invited him to our campfire for supper and he gratefully accepted. Later, Jared arrived at our campsite with his jug of water and his contribution: the one wild paw-paw he had found. In the course of the evening, Jared shared his story. He grew up going to church with his family and became acquainted February 19 & 20, 2016 with Sabbath-keepers and the Old Testament food laws through Hilton Garden Inn his uncle. In 2008 he agreed to Independence, Missouri be a caretaker at a friend’s home. In his quiet time he watched Retreat Registration satellite TV, constantly surfing for something meaningful. He $150 per couple now - February 3 came upon 3ABN and found the programming more spiritual $160 per couple February 4 - 16 than what he had grown up with. Some time later, Jared attended Hotel Registration the Willow Springs Church, which my husband John and $98 per night through January 29 I were pastoring at the time. or until all rooms are booked Neither John nor I remember seeing Jared, so it must have Register at


t all started at the little spring near Noblett Lake in southern Missouri—one of my favorite spots. It’s so little, with a sandy bottom that bubbles up and large flat rocks just right for sitting. Paula Bettcher, Sabbath school superintendent at Willow Springs Church, is a wonderful adventure friend of mine. Each year we camp out in order to be there for Outdoor Church on Sabbath. It was Friday late in September, and we had set up our camp and were walking to our favorite little spring. As we approached, a voice came from the other side of the spring and a smiling young man emerged from the undergrowth. Right away he recognized Paula, and they realized he had been at the Willow Springs School where she worked a few years back. Before long, Jared explained that he had come down to Noblett Lake to celebrate the Day of Atonement and the Sabbath. “That’s amazing,” I said, “We are here for Outdoor Church

been on a Sabbath when we were at one of our other churches. Later, Jared visited another local church when his Ukrainian friends invited him, but he said it reminded him of his Baptist Church growing up which was in the style of the 1920s. What he was looking for, he said, was a first century style church without the “traditions of men” nor the hierarchy, administration and organization that harkens back to Catholicism. He is looking for people who are thirsting and hungering for spiritual truth and not part of organized religion. My back thoughts were, How





Photos: Courtesy Kansas-Nebraska Conference

Prayer Conference Slated for MidAmerica Union

NEWS HIGHLIGHTS 2016 Calender: If you did not receive a calendar or would like an extra one contact John Treolo: Pastors: will be in Topeka January 4-6 attending winter Ministers’ Meeting Wichita: The annual Wichita Convention will be January 29-30. Speaker: Gary Thurber. Friday: Three Angels Church (4558 Hydraulic) Sabbath: South Church (820 W. 27th St. South)

Kevin Wilfley


Virgil Covel

s Christians we know prayer is God’s ordained means of transformation. Those who have a living, active prayer life find purpose, joy and strength to live as witnesses for Jesus. When our people pray, our churches are strong. Because of this a prayer conference is planned for members in the Mid-America Union Conference April 22-24 at the Lied Lodge in Nebraska City, Nebraska. Over 100 participants from around the MAUC are expected to attend this special event. Leaders of each church are invited to prayerfully consider sending a representative in order to foster a culture of prayer and spiritual revival in our churches. Speakers will be Kevin Wilfley, director of prayer ministries for the Washington Conference, and Virgil Covel, director of prayer ministries for the KansasNebraska Conference. Wilfley, who led the morning devotionals



at the North American Division pastors’ prayer conference in 2013, has a unique ability to lead transformational prayer and worship services. Covel has had the privilege of leading prayer seminars in the United States and Canada. The Lied Lodge ( is a beautiful retreat center nestled in the gentle hills of eastern Nebraska. The early registration fee for the weekend, including vegetarian meals, lodging and materials is $260 per person for a double occupancy room. After January 31 the registration fee will be $285.

Pathfinders: The Pathfinder Bible Experience Honors Fest will be January 29-31 at Wichita West Spanish Church (4715 W. 2nd St. N.)

Kansas City Area

CONVOCATION February 5-6, 2016

Speaker: Sam Leonor Pastor La Sierra University Campus

Virgil Covel is prayer ministries coordinator for the KansasNebraska Conference.

FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 5 Chapel Oaks Church 6245 Monticello Road Shawnee, KS

SABBATH, FEBRUARY 6 New Haven Church 8714 Antioch Road Overland Park, KS

Call Susan Treolo at 785.478.4726 for more information or to register.

7:00 pm Sam Leonor

9:30 am Sabbath School 11:00 am Sam Leonor 2:00 pm Sam Leonor



Tragedy Leads to Helping the Deaf Hear

Photos: John Treolo

Charles Gray (left) uses sign language to help his new friends understand the worship service better.


harles Gray is a man of

faith. Through the years, that faith has been tested by several significant events in his life. In 1980 his 13-year-old brother, Bobby, was killed by an automobile while walking home from the fair. Having a brother is great; losing one is not. Charles’ marriage of eight years dissolved in 1998. He couldn’t see what was going on with his life. What was worse, he walked away from God. However, the One who heals broken hearts had other plans. Charles needed help. He found it in the lives of his two children. Charles’ son, Steven, lost his hearing when he was not quite three due to auditory neuropathy. Desiring to communicate with Steven, Charles learned sign language and is now sharing this language skill with

others who are deaf. That’s how he met Mpofu and Fisiwe Mpumelelo, a Zimbabwean couple who attend the Wanamaker Church in Topeka, Kansas. Both were born deaf and met at a school for the deaf in Africa. They migrated to the United States in 2004. The couple has a 2-yearold daughter, Angelee, who shows no signs of hearing loss. Mpofu, who serves as a deacon, signs, “This church has great fellowship and shows a lot of love. Charles helps us understand the services so much better.” Getting Charles to attend church every Sabbath is a miracle in itself. His current wife, Ligaya, is a life-long Adventist from the Philippines. While attending one Sabbath with Ligaya, Charles met Mpofu and Fisiwe, who were thrilled

Angelee, Fisiwe and Mpofu Mpumelelo are happy to be part of the Wanamaker Church in Topeka, Kansas. to have someone to communicate with. Charles knew he had to help this couple “hear” God’s Word. As a machinist at the Goodyear plant in Topeka, Charles had to rearrange his Saturday schedule so he could attend the Wanamaker Church to sign for Mpofu and Fisiwe. He says he feels very

welcomed each Sabbath. “I love these two and I love the church family. I feel the Holy Spirit’s presence in this church,” Charles says happily. John Treolo is communication director for the KansasNebraska Conference.





Minnetonka Church Collaborates with Fire Department

Seminar Encourages Servant Leaders and Boosts Spiritual Health Photos: Jason Salyers

“Sharing the light”

Minnetonka Church hosts a two-day Lead Like Jesus seminar to help participants maximize their spiritual influence.


innetonka Church hosted its first two-day Lead Like Jesus seminar in October, teaching its eight participants to extend and maximize their influence by showing them how to lead like Jesus. An internationally recognized organization During the annual Minnetonka Fire Department with trained facilitators, Lead Open House, volunteers give away 300 flashlights Like Jesus, emphasizes that we imprinted with the church’s name and website. are all leaders anytime we seek to influence the thinking, behavior n October the Minnetonka Church members also served or development of people in our Church hosted a booth for hot chocolate with whipped personal or professional lives. the second year at the annual cream to an estimated 400 peo- Therefore, it’s our responsibility Minnetonka Fire Department ple. Youth pastor Vanessa Pujic to make sure our hearts, heads, Open House. Since the public said, “It’s so exciting to know we hands and habits are in line with regularly parks in the church are now an expected presence at the Holy Spirit. lot and fields during city community events.” Senior pastor Jason Salyers events, the goal was to be a Pujic added that the said he and co-facilitators Harry positive presence in the comMinnetonka Church plans to Lehew and Ken Dedeker (who munity by giving free flashdistribute 500 flashlights next both attend Minnetonka Church) lights and hot drinks. year as well as offer additional “hold a mutual dream to see In 90 minutes, the church services to open house attendleaders in our church develop gave away 300 flashlights ees. The church also hopes to themselves into leaders like Jesus imprinted with the church’s explore the possibility of parwas and is.” name and website, many to ticipating in other community During the seminar particichildren who had received one gatherings in the West Metro pants were encouraged through last year and told their friends, area during the coming year. activities, videos and discussions “This church gives these flashto think about why they lead and Michelle Lashier Rosas is lights away every year.” This is how what they think and do affect triple the amount of flashlights communication director for the their ability to influence others. Minnetonka Church. distributed last year. Three of the eight attendees





were staff members from another Christian church in Wisconsin. As a result of spending the two days together, youth pastor Vanessa Pujic said valuable relationships were forged between the leaders of both churches. “I believe God orchestrated this connection being made between our two congregations,” expressed Pujic. According to attendee David Land, the seminar enabled him to “lay out my purpose, thoughts, actions and habits in harmony with Jesus. The seminar also emphasized how to keep God central in my life by abiding in his unconditional love and helped me understand how to develop my personal mission statement and values, as well as set clear goals.” Land said he was inspired by the stories of the other attendees, especially those from Wisconsin. Pastor Salyers said Minnetonka Church is already looking at calendar dates to host the seminar again. Michelle Lashier Rosas is communication director for the Minnetonka Church.


A Grand Collaboration

Photos: Wild Trillium Photography

Working together for Syrian refugees


ocal communities joined together at the Greenway Auditorium in Coleraine, Minnesota last November to raise awareness and donations for the growing Syrian refugee crisis. It is estimated that between 7-9 million Syrians have fled their homes and entered neighboring countries such as Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan and Iraq since the beginning of the civil war in 2011. Pastor Doug Hardt of the Iron Range District (which includes Blackberry, Grand Rapids, Hibbing, Northome and International Falls) saw firsthand the challenges faced by refugees during his visit to Iraq last year. In an effort to help alleviate the suffering, the Blackberry Church

invited local musicians from churches and schools in their area to collaborate in a benefit concert to aid the refugee work. Choirs from the Deer River, Grand Rapids and Greenway high schools participated, along with the Grand Rapids Area Male Chorus, the St. Andrew’s Men’s Choir, a quartet of Russian teenagers, and the pastor’s daughter, Nicole Hardt. The program was full of inspiring music that pervaded the auditorium with a sense of hope. Pastor Hardt also spoke and showed pictures of the refugee crisis. Perhaps this—in a small way—is what Elder Dan Jackson talked about in his Grand Collaboration message given at

Members of local community and high school choirs, along with other musicians, join together in presenting a benefit concert for refugee children. Over $4,500 was sent to the UNICEF Refugee Project.

the North American Division Year-end Meetings. His point was if every person can actively be involved in helping in some way, a lot of good can be accomplished. As members of the Christian church, and Seventhday Adventists in particular, we need to learn to collectively express Adventism throughout our territory. We are stronger if we work as a team, collaborating with the forces of good to do good. Concert-goers showed their appreciation for the talents of the performers and generously contributed to the UNICEF charity

that is working specifically with the children affected by the refugee crisis. Over $4,500 was raised at the benefit, far exceeding expectations. Brian Mungandi, Minnesota Conference communication director, worked with Doug Hardt on this article.

If you are inspired to donate, it’s not too late. Those wishing to give may send their donations to: UNICEF Refugee Project, 2201 2nd Ave. East, Hibbing, MN, 55746.




Vista Adventist Fellowship Triples its Membership The Vista Church in Longmont, Colorado now has 99 members. Pastor Blake Jones (far left) attributes their growth to prayer and a family-like atmosphere.

Photos: Carol Jones


n six short years the Vista Adventist Fellowship in Longmont, Colorado has reached a significant milestone. The congregation, which started in 2009 with less than 30 members, now has 99. In the last 12 months the English-speaking Vista Church has had 20 baptisms and started a Spanish-speaking congregation (also in Longmont) that has already had eight baptisms. “We see the Lord doing great things. We have several small groups that are growing, and our church attendance is also growing,” reported Blake Jones, church pastor. “The fruit that we are seeing at Vista is a testament that God is still able to work through His people in powerful ways when they take the Great Commission and put all their energies into it,” Jones said. He added that attendance



in both churches exceeds membership, explaining that an average attendance of the English-speaking church is about 75, with 35 believers in average weekly attendance for the Spanish group. Presently, there are three Adventist congregations in Longmont, a city of nearly 90,000 people. The Vista congregation rents its church facility from the First Baptist Church of Longmont. Jones stated that they have a good relationship with the Baptist Church. “Once a year, in the summer, we have ‘church in the park’ with our Baptist brothers and sisters where on a Sunday morning we gather together with them at Roosevelt Park in downtown Longmont, along with one other congregation, and have church together.” Each pastor takes a turn preaching when the three


churches gather, so every third year Jones preaches. “It is always well received,” he said. Church members appreciate being a part of the growing congregation. One new member said, “I am so glad I found this church. Coming here has changed my life.” James D’Annunzio, another new church member, said, “I’ve been to a number of churches where you are a number. It’s not like that here. You come here and you feel like family.”

New member Louise Kawa said that if you are having a problem you know your church family is there for you. “At Vista people really care.” Pastor Jones concluded: “These comments get to the heart of why Vista is growing. It is a very loving church family. And since we have been focusing on prayer we have seen substantial growth.” Rajmund Dabrowski is communication director for the Rocky Mountain Conference.

Daniel and Tabata were baptized on October 17 and their son, Isaac, was dedicated.



Students Honor Veterans on Their Day

Spotlight on RMC Schools Michelle Velbis

Four Mile Adventist Christian School joined with Daystar Christian School for a RMC-sponsored joint Week of Prayer and Outdoor Education experience last fall. Two of the days were spent in Pueblo and the other two in Cañon City. Photos: Ronald Johnson

Erwin Velbis


hirty-one veterans and their spouses were honored on November 11 by the Grand Junction Church and Intermountain Adventist Academy. Enthusiastic students served the volunteer-prepared breakfast to the veterans at their flag-adorned tables, calling it the Breakfast of Champions. Principal Casey Prindle welcomed the guests before students began the program with a time of praise and worship. To honor the veterans, kindergarten students recited a poem, grades 1-3 presented a skit and grades 4-8 sang patriotic songs. Pastor Mike Shannon chose 2 Tim. 4:7 for his message: “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the

faith.” Shannon reminded attendees how the apostle Paul looked forward to receiving a crown of righteousness reserved for all who have fought a good fight and love His appearing. Each veteran was recognized by name and presented with a colorful, hand-crafted book marker and thank you note made by the students. Veteran David Bryan, along with each of the veterans in attendance, showed appreciation by writing thank you notes, signed by each veteran, to the children and adults who helped with the morning breakfast and presentation. Ronald Johnson is a member of the Grand Junction Church.

Michelle Velbis, principal, is proud of the three Daystar Christian School students who won awards for creativity at the Pueblo County Library’s contest. Out of more than 1,000 entries, judges chose six entries per grade to receive a certificate, prize and have their work displayed at the main branch for the month of November. The three Daystar winners were Isabella Kilfoy, 4th grade; Collin Velbis, 6th grade; and Grant Velbis, 8th grade.





Interning Around the World Photos: Courtesy Union College

Susy Gomez (center back) and her two fellow interns each adopted a girl for the Backpack Program— meaning they gave the necessary funds to provide school supplies for the children. The girls and their families live in the neighborhood. ’s heart broke as S she listened to the new college student share his story. The

herself, so Gomez shared this student’s story with a shortterm volunteer working in the young Peruvian engineering area. “The volunteer decided student had excellent grades and to become a sponsor!” Gomez a full scholarship, but between remembered excitedly. “This himself and his mother, a disfelt like a great accomplishment. abled woman who tried to feed But I know so many more who the family by selling barbecue, need help.” they could not raise the $100 Now working toward a needed for additional school master’s degree in social work expenses such as supplies. from the University of Chicago, “The first step was to get him Gomez graduated from Union registered for school,” Gomez College in May 2015 with a explained. That was accomdegree in social work. While plished thanks to some extra most social work students money that had been given to fulfill their required semester­ support her own time in Peru. long internship at one of many Then she searched for a sponsor. local social services agencies As an intern for the People of in Lincoln, Gomez elected to Peru Project Backpack Program, head south for three months in it was one of her jobs to assist Iquitos, Peru. and find sponsors for families who needed school supplies for Serving people in Peru children in school. She already In Peru, Gomez filled nearly sponsored some other families every moment volunteering usy Gomez




at three different nonprofit agencies: People of Peru Project; the Instituto de Estudios por la Infancia y la Familia; and Santa Monica, the city’s orphanage. Part of her time with the Backpack Program was dedicated to providing school supplies for families in need. “Our main goal during my time there was to create an intake system to assess need in the families who applied to the program,” said Gomez. “We also started a system to interview and document the families receiving help.” Gomez also served as a counselor for four girls in the IDEIF program assisting victims of sexual trafficking, while also planning activities and creating programs to raise community awareness. “One of the most fulfilling experiences came when counseling one of the girls,” said Gomez. “It was amazing to see her grow and to walk with her through the many issues we addressed. Although I only saw a small part of her journey, it was beautiful to see her develop and blossom through the time we spent together.” On weekends, Gomez put her Spanish to work translating for short term volunteer groups brought to the area by the People of Peru Project to serve the community—including medical clinics in the Amazon jungle. Gomez felt her experience outside the United States was critical to her educational experience. “I wanted to see what social work looks like in other parts of the world and learn how it can be used in an international context,” she said.

“I definitely feel that my internships gave me a good taste of this. It was an opportunity to see deep needs and to explore how social work can help address those needs. I really had a chance to appreciate the importance of research in my field and to experience counseling firsthand. It also put me in contact with other great professionals from whom I learned a lot.” Not just theory Beyond her classroom experience at Union College Gomez found a second family and the mentors and community connections to give her valuable experience in the field even before her time in Peru. Active in both the Social Work Club and the Amnesty/ Tiny Hands International Club on campus, Gomez worked on raising awareness of human rights abuse around the world and encouraged others to join. She also helped raise awareness on the effects of human trafficking and modern day slavery. As she completes her master’s degree at one of the top three social work schools in the country, Gomez plans to take advantage of the many internship opportunities in the Chicago area to build on what she started at Union College. “My ultimate career goal is to found a nonprofit to work with human rights,” said Gomez. Articles by Megan Wehling, a senior English major from Lincoln, Nebraska.


New Associate Dean of Students Aims to Connect Campus Digitally other tasks including managing Union’s orientation week for new students, coordinating campus clubs and developing a new drug and alcohol education program. “I like to meet new people and I like to create things,” said Canine, who most recently worked as the director of student involvement at La Sierra University in southern California. “So the fact that this is a new position and I get to Kim Canine joined Union help create it is really exciting. College to fill a new So far everything I’ve seen and position—associate dean the people I’ve met have been of students. One of her amazing.” primary roles has been Canine earned both an underto develop a new way to graduate degree and an MBA at connect Union digitally La Sierra before taking a job in through a campus social the student services office. She media platform dubbed also worked as an assistant dean Squirrel HUB. at her alma mater and as a marketer at Thunderbird Academy in Arizona and Campion Academy or many college students, in Colorado before returning to email is a relic from the La Sierra to a job that required ancient past and has gone the way of dinosaurs, the typewriter her to manage the school’s impleand landline telephones. Now, in mentation of OrgSync, the same an effort to more effectively com- software Union is using to create Squirrel HUB. municate with students, Union In the process, Canine became College has built a new social an experienced user and develmedia network on campus to oped a connection with creators, create an electronic community who wrote the cloud-based tool as vibrant and diverse as Union’s specifically for college campuses. real-life campus. “Using OrgSync makes it so To tackle the daunting task, much easier for campus clubs Union turned to Kim Canine, and organizations to communiwho joined the campus team cate with their members, manage last summer to fill a new events and promote themselves position—associate dean of across campus,” said Canine. students. Canine has not only “Students spend a lot of time in assumed responsibility for the the digital world and are used to new electronic community— dubbed Squirrel HUB as a salute consuming information the way they want to. OrgSync makes to the bushy-tailed campus dwellers—but will also assist the that possible for our campus. dean of students with a variety of Students are far more likely to


stay tuned to what is happening when they can organize everything in an easy-to-use interface and don’t have to sort through dozens of emails a day.” The Squirrel HUB also provides a mobile app for access on-the-go, a universal calendar for the campus, the ability to manage online registration for many internal and external events and much more. Canine, who grew up in southern Illinois, was not a stranger to Union. As both a student and employee at La Sierra, she attended Adventist Intercollegiate Association meetings at Union as part of student government. She is also married to 1996 Union College graduate Chris Canine, who served as dean of men at La Sierra before coming to Lincoln. The couple has two children,

Zeldon, nine and Adisyn, six.

“We are excited that Kim Canine has joined our student services team,” said Linda Becker, vice president for Student Services and dean of students. “Her work with Squirrel HUB has already made an impact by creating more effective communication on our campus.” Canine, who has worked with OrgSync at more than one school, said, “Union has embraced it much more quickly than I expected. People here can see the possibilities of how it can help our campus and we haven’t even officially launched it yet. We have been able to accomplish a lot in a very short time.” While many students and employees have been using Squirrel HUB since August, Union will officially launch the service campus wide in January.

Engaged Encounter Sponsored by Union College Campus Ministries

February 26-28 Engaged couples are invited to spend a weekend developing communication skills in the context of a Christ-centered relationship. For information contact Stan and Angie Hardt at 402.423.2896 or Held at the Mid-America Union office building: 8307 Pine Lake Road, Lincoln, NE. Application deadline: February 19





Courtesy Shawnee Mission Health

SMH Brightens Holidays for Associates and Community Families departments have participated in this monthly program by sharing food and fellowship with 50-60 men in this group. Knowing that hunger can affect people in many circumstances, SMH started an on-campus food pantry specifically designed to provide assistance to associates and their families. The pantry helped nearly 40 SMH families in 2015 as well as provided Associates with the Short Stay Unit volunteer food for adopted associate to share food and fellowship at the City families during Christmas Union Mission in Kansas City. time. For the past 20 years, SMH has supported associFighting hunger s a faith-based organiates through their Spirit of zation with the mission Food is a basic necessity that Christmas Adopt-A-Family of Improving Health Through many people may lack at one program. In 2015, SMH Christian Service, Shawnee time or another during their associates adopted more than Mission Health is committed lives. In the Harvesters’ service 20 families of fellow associto the health and well being of area, a community food bank ates and provided them with its associates and the greater that serves 26 counties in food and gifts. Those needing Kansas City community. Kansas and Missouri, one in assistance were chosen based Although this commitment is seven people is food inseon circumstance and either reflected year round through cure—meaning that a person nominated themselves or SMH-sponsored activities, may have food today, but does were nominated by a fellow it was especially prevalent not know if there will be food associate. during the holidays through tomorrow or enough food for Spreading cheer and many organized programs that everyone in the household. goodwill directly helped those in need. In November, SMH hosted “The holidays are a perfect a Harvesters food drive and SMH also helped spread time to encourage people to encouraged associates to place hope to children by concount their own blessings and non-perishable food items in ducting a Toys for Tots reach out to those who are bins located throughout the drive during November and less fortunate,” said director hospital campus. December. Started by the of Spiritual Wellness Mark Associates also fought night shift nurses more than Stoddart. “We are always hunger in the community three decades ago, the toy looking for opportunities to by serving meals to the drive has provided hundreds come together as an organiLong-Term Men’s Group of Christmas gifts to less zation and extend a helping at City Union Mission. For fortunate children throughout hand.” the past two years, various the years.






Although each program is unique, they share one common goal—to spread cheer and goodwill during the holiday season. Most of these efforts focused on helping those in need, but SMH did present one event that was for everyone. A gift to the community from associates, physicians and staff, the Celebration of Thanksgiving concert featured local Kansas City musicians and provided a fun, inspirational way for Kansas Citians to celebrate the holiday season with friends and family. For the past 30 years, SMH has hosted the annual concert to express gratitude to the community for the opportunity to serve their healthcare needs. “Shawnee Mission Health has a strong track record of staying aware of the needs within our community and creating opportunities to fulfill those needs,” said president and CEO Ken Bacon. “I’m proud of our organization’s willingness and ability to come together year after year and make the holidays happier for many people within our community.” Jackie Woods is a writer for Shawnee Mission Health.



A New Pathway to Health and Wellness Scientific study aims to use health ministry to improve lives This retooled health study includes eight 90-minute classroom sessions featuring newly written scientific curriculum and core lectures on the eight principals of health, along with cooking demonstrations (including delicious samples), exercise sessions, group discussions, and time for Q&A. The six-week core program will be followed by eight months of follow-up sessions with continued coaching on CREATION Health principles. Best of all, program lectures Denver residents are invited to sign up for a and cooking demos will be free, six-week lifestyle improvement program at recorded for use in subsequent Porter Adventist Hospital beginning in February. sessions. Later in the summer, program materials will be n February 2, 135 Denver incorporate biometric screening duplicated and session videos residents will start partools before and after the study will be posted online for local ticipating in a free, six-week to measure improvements in churches, schools and other lifestyle improvement program participants’ health. To validate organizations to use in their at Porter Adventist Hospital. results, his team will check outreach efforts. Dr. Eric Shadle, director of blood work for cholesterol, “It’s a great way for churches, CREATION Health for Centura fasting blood sugar, and hemo- hospitals and schools to work Adventist Hospitals, is actively globin A1c markers. They’ll also together to improve the health recruiting participants for next track blood pressure and body of their neighbors and to share month’s Pathway to Health and mass with height and weight. the love of Christ at the same Wellness, an extension of the CREATION Health program. CREATION Health debuted more than a decade ago at Florida Hospital in Orlando and is currently implemented in Adventist hospitals across the country. It focuses on eight principles of health—Choice, Rest, Environment, Activity, Trust, Interpersonal relationships, Outlook and Nutrition— based on the CREATION acronym. CREATION Health materials have long been available for use by local churches and hospitals. Shadle uniquely plans to



time,” says Shadle. “It’s all part of Centura Health’s ‘Population Health Strategy’ for creating healthier communities.” In addition to needing 135 program participants, Shadle is recruiting volunteers to help with registration, cooking and small group discussions. If you’re interested in being a program participant or volunteer, please email or call 303.778.2422. Anyone interested in participating is encouraged to attend one of the informational pre-study Q&A sessions scheduled for January 11, 12, or 13 at 6:30 pm at Porter Adventist Hospital. This article was submitted by Stephen King, senior vice president for Rocky Mountain Adventist Health/Centura Health, where he serves the five Adventist hospital campuses in Colorado. It was written by Mark Bond.




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MAUC Executive Committee Clarifies Policies and Requests Change in Remittance Flow Due to confusion created by the GC Session vote last July regarding ordination, the Mid-America Union has issued a statement of affirmation for women in ministry in accordance with current Adventist policy.


he Mid-America Union Conference Executive Committee convened on Nov. 12, 2015 at the union’s headquarters in Lincoln, Nebraska for its regularly scheduled session at the conclusion of the union’s Year-end Meetings. Mixed in with votes to receive the presented reports was a healthy dose of discussion ranging from topics regarding the distribution of tithe dollars to credentialing of commissioned pastors to an analysis of the church’s organizational structure presented at the North American Division Year-end Meetings by a specially formed Governance Committee. While several motions are currently being revised and will be voted on by email, the MAUC Executive Committee unanimously voted the

following motions: 1. Voted: To formalize our current practice of voting at the union level to include requests for both ordaining and commissioning pastoral candidates. Though NAD policy does not currently require our union committee to vote on commission credentials, it has been the custom to do so. This vote simply formalizes what the Mid-America practice has been. 2. Voted: Statement of affirmation of women in pastoral ministry as follows: In the wake of the July 8, 2015 vote by General Conference Session delegates regarding the world divisions’ ability to decide for themselves whether or not to ordain women to the gospel ministry, the Mid-America Union Conference Executive

Committee affirms the following clarifying statement on women involved in ministry: A. NAD Policy L32 10 states: “A commissioned minister is authorized by the conference to perform substantially all the religious functions within the scope of the tenets and practices of the Seventh-day Adventist Church for the members in the church or churches to which the minister is assigned and elected as a church elder.” This policy applies to both men and women commissioned pastors and has been in place for over 30 years. The vote last July did not change this policy. B. The Mid-America Union Conference desires to be in harmony with the General Conference policies regarding ordained and commissioned pastors. Therefore, we affirm and support the needs of our conferences to credential and authorize their ministry team to perform their assigned pastoral responsibilities. 3. Voted: To ask the North American Division for a change in the flow of remittances from the conferences with the purpose to cease the “up and down” movement of tithe dollars earmarked by the NAD for education and evangelism. The request is that a proposal to accomplish this goal be presented at the 2016 NAD Year-end Meetings for

implementation January 1, 2017. Explanations and Affirmation The purpose of this motion was not to change the amount of dollars each level of the organization has to carry out its ministry. This is only referring to dollars that, by policy and practice, are sent to the NAD and then come back in the form of subsidies. This was one of the suggestions given to the NAD Executive Committee by the Governance Committee. In regard to the vote for affirmation of women in ministry, MAUC president Gary Thurber said, “The July 8 vote caused a great deal of confusion. Many people thought it was about the theology of ordination—it wasn’t. The question was whether or not divisions could decide individually on the issue of women’s ordination to best move their mission forward.” Thurber added that some people thought it meant women could no longer serve as pastors. Hence, the Executive Committee voted the statement of explanation and affirmation intending to bring clarity regarding the current Seventh-day Adventist policy and practice. Brenda Dickerson is communication director for the Mid-America Union.





Davis, Eva, b. June 6, 1936. d. Sept. 21, 2015. Member of Gladstone (MO) Church. Davis, Leota A., b. Apr. 1, 1914 in Geneva, IA. d. Aug. 3, 2015. Member of Bolivar (MO) Church. Preceded in death by husbands Herman Roehrs, Elmer Krause and Frank Davis. Survivors include daughter Joyce; 1 granddaughter; 1 great-grandson. Davis, Michael E., b. June 22, 1949 in Fairbury, NE. d. Nov. 29, 2015 in Lincoln, NE. Member of College View Church. Survivors include daughters Melissa Long and Meagan Meininger; 1 brother; 2 grandchildren. Foerderer, Linda M., b. June 28, 1950 in Eureka, SD. d. Oct. 7, 2015 in Deer Creek, MN. Member of Wadena Church. Preceded in death by parents; 2 sisters. Survivors include husband Steve; sons Mark, Chad and Andrew; 4 siblings; 6 grandchildren. Franklin, Virgil, b. July 28, 1970. d. Oct. 17, 2015 in MO. Member of St. Louis Central Church. Preceded in death by parents. Survivors include wife Angela; sons Robert, Donnell and Isaiah. Goff, Barbara J., b. Jan. 13, 1929 in Flint, MI. d. Dec. 5, 2015 in Fort Collins, CO. Member of Fort Collins Church. Preceded


in death by daughter Janna Dunning; son Jeff. Survivors include 2 grandchildren; 1 great-granddaughter. Hirschkorn (Wagner), Lillian, b. July 24, 1911 near Robinson, ND. d. Dec. 2, 2015 in Fargo, ND. Member of Manfred Church. Preceded in death by husband Roy. Survivors include daughter Beverly Hanson; 1 grandchild; 2 great-grandchildren. Hoffman, Mabel C., b. Aug. 7, 1922 in Sheridan County, ND. d. Aug. 23, 2015 in Wishek, ND. Member of Carrington Church. Preceded in death by husband Arnold; daughter Barbara. Survivors include sons Norman and Kimber; 4 siblings; 7 grandchildren; 8 great-grandchildren. Kaiser (Horst), Viola, b. May 18, 1921 in Streeter, ND. d. Nov. 21, 2015 in Bismarck, ND. Member of Jamestown Church. Preceded in death by husband David; 2 siblings. Survivors include sons Duane, Dennis and Custis; 3 siblings; 9 grandchildren; 9 great-grandchildren. Keplin, Michael, b. Dec. 29, 1968. d. Aug. 18, 2015. Preceded in death by parents Franklin Littlefield and Lauretta Keplin. Survivors include aunts and cousins. Loose, Carl Jr., b. Jan. 19, 1925. d. Aug. 5, 2015 in Alliance, NE. Member of Turtle Lake (ND) Church. Preceded in death by wife Rose; daughter Linda Brown; son Roger; 2 brothers. Survivors include daughter Mary Kay; son Loren; 6 siblings; 10 grandchildren; 15 great-grandchildren.


Mauller, Adele, b. May 28, 1928. d. Oct. 29, 2015 in Columbia, MO. Member of Columbia Church. Preceded in death by 2 brothers. Survivors include husband Harold Sr.; daughter Rebecca Strauss; sons Harold II, Paul and David; 3 grandchildren; 6 great-grandchildren.

Underwood, Helen H., b. June 18, 1931 in Sikeston, MO. d. Mar. 9, 2015 in Topeka, Kansas. Member of Coffeyville Church. Preceded in death by husband Albert; 2 siblings. Survivors include daughters Kathy Underwood and Cheryl Jorgenson; 1 sister; 2 grandchildren.

Nuessle, Heidi U., b. Jan. 24, 1943 in Bad Aibling, Germany. d. Apr. 5, 2015 in Loveland, CO. Member of Eden Valley Church. Survivors include 2 brothers.

Walker, Gordon, b. Sept. 1, 1938 in Burlington, IA. d. Oct. 14, 2015 in Burlington, IA. Member of Burlington Church. Survivors include wife Lois; child Estel; 1 brother; 1 granddaughter.

Stover, Martin, b. Aug. 26, 1931 in Des Moines, IA. d. Nov. 10 in Stover, MO. Member of Sedalia Church. Survivors include children Martin, Marta, Marvin and Mary.


Colter, Lois, b. Nov. 16, 1927 in Cedar City, MO. d. Nov. 16, 2015 in MO. Member of Fulton Church. Preceded in death by 2 brothers. Survivors include numerous grandchildren; numerous nieces and nephews.

Colorado Denver Grand Junction Pueblo Iowa Davenport Des Moines Sioux City Kansas Dodge City Goodland Topeka Minnesota Duluth International Falls Minneapolis Missouri Columbia Kansas City St Louis Nebraska Lincoln North Platte Scottsbluff North Dakota Bismarck Fargo Williston South Dakota Pierre Rapid City Sioux Falls Wyoming Casper Cheyenne Sheridan

To submit an obituary visit or email Raschelle Hines at Questions? 402.484.3012.

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Visit to submit your ad and pay online. Please contact Randy Harmdierks with questions: 402.484.3028

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bodies. For more information and to apply visit admres/jobs/735. Andrews University seeks Faculty in School Psychology. Responsibilities: Oversee all aspects of the EdS School Psychology program as Program Coordinator (full description available at link below). Qualifications: Doctorate in School Psychology, Educ Psychology, or a related field; state or national (NCSP) certification as a school psychologist; minimum three years working in the field as a school psychologist; For more information and to apply visit admres/jobs/327. Walla Walla University is looking to fill several full-time, tenure-track faculty positions in the areas of Educational Psychology, English Education/Children’s Literature, Industrial Design, Nineteenth Century British Literature, Research Services Librarian, Music, Psychology, and Social Work. For a detailed description of each position and to apply, please visit jobs.

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EVENTS Broadview Academy Alumni Weekend, Apr. 30–May 1. All alumni encouraged to attend. Honor classes: ’46, ’56, ’66, ’76, ’86, ’91, ’96 and ’06. N. Aurora SDA Church, N. Aurora, IL. Friday vespers, Sabbath school and church. We need email addresses. Send to Ed Gutierrez:; or call: 630.232.9034. La Sierra Academy Alumni Weekend, Apr. 22–23 on LSA campus. Honor Classes ’56, ’66, ’76, ’86, ’91, ’96, ’06 and pre-50 year classes. Visit alumni.htm for more info.







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OUTLOOK - January 2016  

Searching for identity: Who are Seventh-day Adventists?

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